Learn About the Latest News on, UK Construction Industry Fails to Promote Women Leaders, College and Construction Firm Launch New Work Placement Program, Construction Services Boost UK GDP, and Glasgow’s First UK Drug Consumption Room Was Built

In today’s news, we will look into why the construction industry in the United Kingdom is not successful in promoting women to leadership positions. In the meantime, a new work placement programme is being developed by a college and a construction company to strengthen their collaboration. Read Construction and Coleg Cameronia are helping to educate the next generation of builders. Additionally, Balfour Beatty contributes to an increase in operational profitability. In another development, the United Kingdom’s economy came out of a technical recession in January thanks to the activity of the construction and service industries. Moreover, building work has begun on the first official drug consumption room in the United Kingdom, which will be located in Glasgow.

The UK Construction Industry Fails to Promote Women Leaders

Original Source: UK Construction sector fails to build up women in top roles

Creditsafe reports that the construction industry is lagging in gender diversity, with few women on corporate boards.

The construction industry is still behind other industries in gender equality, despite undertaking programs to increase senior management diversity.

The Women in Business survey found that only 21% of the 458,761 construction firms in the UK have female directors, the lowest number of any sector.

The biggest share of female entrepreneurs was seen in Households as Employers (cleaners, tutors, and secretaries), with 60% representation at the directorial level. Health and Social Work (54%), Education (56%), and Education follow closely.

Construction, Transport and Storage, and Electricity & Gas are still male-dominated, with less than 30% of enterprises having female directors.

Geographically, the South West leads with 44% female directors.

The East Midlands and Scotland tie for third at 39%, followed by the South East at 40%. At 38%, the North East and Wales combined authority ranks fourth.

A shocking 39% of companies with primarily male boards were more likely to fail in 2023 than those run by women, according to the survey.

Creditsafe statistics director Drew Fahiya lamented the slow pace of advancement, saying, “Although some women work in construction and building companies in the UK, very few occupy management or leadership roles. Only 21% of board directors are women, the lowest representation in all UK main sectors.

Fahiya continued, “Despite the construction industry attracting women and women studying engineering and project management at tertiary levels, there is a significant gap in their workforce progression. Organisational impediments must be addressed quickly, not a lack of ambition or motivation.

Working Together, College and Construction Firm Launch New Work Placement Program

Original Source: College and construction firm cement partnership with new work placement programme

Coleg Cameronia and Read Construction are training future builders.

With funding from the Welsh Government’s Innovation Fund, the award-winning Wrexham developer assisted the inaugural cohort of BTEC Level 3 Technical Construction and Built Environment students through its Placement Enhanced Programme.

Josh and Lois Jones spent months on the college’s £10m Llysfasi building and at Read’s headquarters.

According to Wrexham resident Lois, the event reinforced her building career.

The 17-year-old former St Joseph’s High School student, who received a gold award for Enterprise at Skills Competition Wales last year, said, “My dad works in the plastering trade, so I’ve grown up in that world and always been

After earning Level 2 and Level 3 at Bersham Road, I knew this is my career path.

I want to get an apprenticeship in design or architecture, which is my goal.

It’s been great to observe how construction works and how the company functions, so I’m grateful to Coleg Cambria and Read Construction for the opportunity.

Read Construction’s Improvement and Engagement Manager Kasia Williamson said they were “delighted” to sponsor the Placement Enhanced Programme’s initial trial and were planning to welcome Cambrian students this year.

Read want to inspire the next generation of workers and help them move from education to the workforce, she said.

Events like this help students launch their careers and alleviate the skills gap.

For their placements as part of this new curriculum, Lois and Josh were great additions to the Read team, and we look forward to welcome additional students.

The 1095-square-metre carbon-neutral Llysfasi development will include classrooms, meeting rooms, a coffee shop, HE centre, wellbeing hub, and more, funded by more than £5.9m from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme.

Balfour Beatty Boosts Operational Profits

Original Source: Balfour Beatty improves operating margins

The UK construction business of Balfour Beatty is more profitable.

In 2023, Balfour Beatty’s revenue rose 7% to £9,595m (2022: £8,931), but pre-tax profit fell 15% to £244m (2022: £287m).

A one-time £56m tax credit increased 2022 statistics, lowering Balfour Beatty’s underlying earnings to £205m (2022: £290m). Investment disposal gains decreased as projected.

Average net cash fell to £700m from £804m in 2022.

With a 2.3% operating margin, the UK construction industry made £69m from £3.03bn in revenue (2022: £59m from £2.76bn).

Last year, Balfour Beatty produced £51m operational profit on £3.70bn revenue at 1.4% in the US, but the UK construction sector is more profitable.

Hong Kong was superior. Its Gammon joint venture with Jardine Mattheson had £36m operational profit from £1,357m revenue, a 2.7% margin.

The board hopes to reach 3% operating margin in UK construction this year.

UK and US orders are constant, but Hong Kong orders are down. The company’s 2023 order book was £16.5bn, down 5% from 2022 (2% at constant exchange rates).

Construction orders in the UK remained steady at £6.1bn, with 91% from public sector and regulated industry clients.

Chief executive Leo Quinn said: “Our earnings-based businesses have generated higher revenue and profit and strong operating cash flow. Our meticulous contract risk management across a regionally and operationally diversified portfolio drove our accomplishment in a tough economy.

“The board is confident in Balfour Beatty’s ability to generate sustainable cash for significant shareholder returns, with earnings-based business growth in 2024 supported by the group’s order book. Our unique expertise and complex infrastructure project experience should drive profits growth through 2025 and beyond, with strong possibilities in the UK energy, transport, and defence industries and the US.

Balfour Beatty UK Construction has 700 live projects, up from recent years. Projects completed in 2023 included the Mayfield Retirement Village in Watford, the Forder Valley link road and bridge in Plymouth, the National Treatment Centre Highland Hospital in Inverness, and the University of Edinburgh Institute for Regeneration & Repair. A new facility at AWE Aldermaston near Reading, civil work at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, the Central Rhyl Coastal Defence plan in North Wales and Fife College’s Dunfermline Learning Campus began in 2023.

The Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Investments-led £300m West Slope student accommodation development at Sussex University and a £67m Liberton High School replacement contract in Edinburgh were added to the order book in 2023.

The nearly finished Thames Tideway Tunnel, HS2, and Hinkley Point C are also Balfour Beatty projects. It is the leading contractor for the £250m M25 Junction 10 (Wisley junction) upgrading project.

Construction Services Boost UK GDP

Original Source: UK GDP Rebounds On Services, Construction Output

Services and construction activity boosted the UK economy in January, ending a technical recession.

Gross domestic product rose 0.2 percent in January, reversing a 0.1 percent drop in December, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday. The rate met economists’ estimates.

The service sector led the expansion as output rose 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent drop. Construction output rose 1.1 percent in January after a 0.5 percent dip.

Industrial production fell 0.2 percent after rising 0.6 percent in December. Production was flat in manufacturing.

In January, GDP decreased 0.3% annually as forecast.

Data showed industrial output growth slowed to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent. Manufacturing rose 2.0 percent, slower than December’s 2.3 percent.

Real GDP decreased 0.1 percent in the three months to January. Longer-term GDP fell 0.2 percent from January 2023.

Ruth Gregory of Capital Economics said the 0.2 percent expansion signals the UK economy may have moved out of recession and may show some upside to a flat GDP growth estimate.

The British Chambers of Commerce Head of Research David Bharier said the 0.1 percent GDP fall in the three months to January shows the UK economy is still fragile.

The expert noted that January economic growth of 0.2 percent may signal the 2023 technical recession may be finished.

Another ONS report indicated that the visible trade deficit rose to GBP 14.5 billion in January from GBP 13.99 billion in December. The services trade surplus continued at GBP 11.39 billion.

The trade imbalance rose to GBP 3.1 billion from GBP 2.6 billion a month earlier.

The First UK Drug Consumption Room Was Built in Glasgow

Original Source: Construction begins on UK’s first official drug consumption room in Glasgow

The facility is anticipated to be finished in six months to reduce Scotland’s drug fatality issue.

The UK’s first drug consumption room is being built in Glasgow.

The site will let heroin addicts inject under medical supervision.

The £2.3m facility may help reduce Scotland’s biggest drug fatality issue in Europe.

Hunter Street Health and Social Care Centre in the east end will house the safe consumption space.

The Scottish Government supports the plans, but some MSPs worry about the local impact, notably on companies.

The UK government opposes the pilot since there is no safe way to use illegal drugs, but it will not prohibit it.

On Monday, work began to turn the centre into a drug consumption facility, which should take six months.

The Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) recommended “significant building redesign” for the centre.

Officials stated it struggles with ventilation and “ensuring that any fumes from any substances are extracted from the injecting room booths and do not impact on any staff that need to be present in this room”.

Since the pilot operation will be the first in the UK, there is no ventilation guidance, the research noted.

International drug consumption rooms and Police Scotland, which disposes of narcotics in Gartcosh, have advised officials.

Glasgow City Council also wants an exception to add an exterior smoking shelter to the centre.

“This will be key to retaining service users on site after injections, allowing meaningful dialogue in the aftercare area,” the paper said.

This is a major Glasgow advance.

Councillor Allan Casey, city convener for workforce, homelessness, and addiction services, said: “This is a major milestone in opening a safer drug consumption facility.

I’m thrilled we’ve reached this point after years of lobbying and creating a solid case to open such a significant facility in Glasgow.

“After so many obstacles, seeing construction work begin on the site is very promising.

This is a big step forward in how the city handles addiction, and providing this important safe area will lessen the harm caused by problematic drug use and save lives.”

Police Scotland reported a 10% increase in suspected drug deaths in Scotland the day before.

The force reported 1,197 alleged drug deaths in January–December 2023.

This was 10% (105) higher than 2022 (1,092).

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed a lack of female representation on corporate boards as one reason why the construction industry is underrepresented in gender diversity, according to Creditsafe. Programmes to promote the diversity of senior management have not prevented the construction industry from falling behind other sectors in terms of gender equality. At the same time, The prestigious Wrexham developer supported the first group of BTEC Level 3 Technical Construction and Built Environment students via its Placement Enhanced Programme, which was made possible by the Welsh Government’s Innovation Fund. Josh and Lois Jones devoted a considerable amount of time at Read’s offices and on the college’s £10 million Llysfasi building. This, says Lois, a local of Wrexham, “reinforced” her job in construction. Furthermore, Balfour Beatty’s order book in 2024 will support earnings-based business growth, and the board is confident in the company’s potential to create sustained cash for large shareholder returns. With a focus on the energy, transportation, and military sectors in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as a wealth of experience managing complex infrastructure projects, the company is well-positioned to increase its profits through 2025 and beyond. Moreover, the expert also pointed out that a 0.2% increase in the economy in January could mean that the technical recession of 2023 is coming to an end. Along with this, Glasgow is home to the first drug consumption room in the United Kingdom. Under medical supervision, the location will allow heroin addicts to inject. Scotland has one of Europe’s worst drug death tolls, and this £2.3 million facility might be the key to lowering it.

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